Former Presidential candidate of the United Ghana Movement (UGM), Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, has described as a waste of resources the new procedures by which the Electoral Commission wants to transmit election results electronically (e-transmission), from the various polling centres in the country.
He said the transmission should be done from the collation centres instead as has been the case over the years.
Though Dr. Wereko-Brobbey said “I’m not against the e-transmission because it’s been happening for a long time,” speaking on Eyewitness News, he explained that the transmission of the results will be a herculean task if done at the polling stations due to internet and mobile connectivity constraints in remote areas.
“If we scan the results of polling stations at the polling stations, allowing for a backup scanner for each station, we are talking of 60,000 scanners. If we scan those same polling station results at the collation centre we are talking about 600 scanners. And the type of thing we plan to do must be consistent with the infrastructure and architecture available in your country. I know that 4G [internet] is only available in Accra, not even in Kumasi. If you go to remote places in deprived places, they don’t even have internet. So for me, we are talking technology but we are not talking the problem that we want to solve.”
“This idea of direct stuff from polling station is likely to cause confusion and not only that; it’s going to cost 60,000 scanners instead of 600 scanners,” he added.
The former presidential candidate also rejected claims that the e-transmission in the form that the EC is seeking to do, will enhance transparency in the December polls.
“You will get the same transparency without the e-transmission in the form that the EC is talking about because the polling station results will be displayed at the polling station for the first time, those results will be taken to the collation centre. All I’m saying is to do with timing. It does not enhance transparency by faxing polling station results from the centres,” he added.
Row about e-transmission of election results
As part of measures to enhance transparency in the upcoming general elections, the Electoral Commission has engaged some IT companies to help it transmit scanned election results from the various polling stations to their headquarters in Accra.
But the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), has kicked against the move.
The party believes the electronic mode of transmission failed in other countries including Kenya, Ecuador and Mexico, hence should not be adopted in Ghana.
According to the party’s 2016 Campaign Manager, Peter Mac Manu, the e-transmission process fails to address the critical challenges that the reform process seeks to overcome.
“The E-transmission of results does not in any way control the abuse of the electoral process.It does not address foreign ballots and it is an after the fact process. If there are only 800 voters on the register how will the system prevent transmission of results cast in excess of that number?If the EC was really serious about transmission of results ,it should have backed that with legislation. No constitutional instrument supports this radical shift. There is no law which gives EC the mandate to electronically transmit results. Nothing in the law before Parliament makes mention of it.”
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana